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One Salmon Now Costs More Than a Barrel of Oil

Weird times we're living in

(Newser) - It's seemingly simple supply and demand that has led us to this point: We now live in a world where a 10-pound salmon is worth more than a barrel of crude oil, a Norwegian seafood-industry site reports, via Bloomberg . This "collapse" in the cost of crude, as Bloomberg... More »

Feds Sue Big Oil Traders for Goosing Prices

Regulators say they scored $50M by manipulating '08 spike

(Newser) - Federal regulators have charged a pair of big-time traders and their firms with illegally manipulating oil prices during the 2008 oil crisis. According to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the firms made $50 million in “unlawful profits” by hoarding nearly two-thirds of the oil available in one major US... More »

Gas Prices Expected to ... Drop

Oil falls under $100 as Americans start driving less

(Newser) - It looks like gas prices will start heading down for once. Both AP and the New York Times quote experts saying the price has probably peaked and will begin ticking downward from the national average of just under $4. Skeptics can look to oil prices, which dropped below $100 a... More »

Nervous Investors Scoop Up All the Gold They Can

It's at a record high, with no sign of slowing down

(Newser) - Gold prices will not set another record high today in the US—but only because the markets are closed for Good Friday. That seems to be the only way to cool off the commodity, which rose nearly $5 an ounce yesterday to close at a record $1,503.20, notes... More »

Mystery Investor Buys Every Cocoa Bean in Europe

Who's hoarding all that cocoa, and why?

(Newser) - The supply of cocoa beans sitting in warehouses across Europe could fill more than 5 Titanics, and as of last week it all belongs to one mysterious figure. An anonymous investor sparked intrigue last week when he, she, or they bought 241,000 tons of cocoa—essentially, every cocoa bean... More »

Dow Seesaws on Jobs, Dollar, Then Closes Up 22

Jobs rally undercut by, dollar boom, sinking commodities

(Newser) - Stocks posted modest gains today after a morning rally off an unexpectedly strong jobs report. The surge lost steam when a rise in the dollar sapped commodity stocks, the Wall Street Journal reports.
  • The Dow rose 22.75 points to close at 10,388.90.
  • The Nasdaq added 21.21,
... More »

Glenn Beck's Paranoia Is a Gold Mine

Gold to guns, scribe says there's profit to be made off right wingers

(Newser) - Move over Jim Cramer. When it comes to possibly unhinged investment gurus, Mike Madden of Salon says he’s going with Glenn Beck and G. Gordon Liddy. Ever since advertisers began boycotting Beck, gold sellers have been grabbing space. The weirdest ad features G. Gordon Liddy mocking Fed policies that... More »

Dow Surges 132 as Dollar Falls

Commodities surge as dollar falls

(Newser) - Stocks indices saw big gains today as a result of a global chain of events: Australia’s central bank raised interest rates, the first to do so since the recession began. The move stoked optimism about the global economy and sank the value of the US dollar, which in turn... More »

Gold Prices Hit All-Time High

Investors hedge against inflation in all currencies

(Newser) - Gold leapt to $1,038 an ounce today, the highest price on record, as investors bet that global stimulus efforts and rate cuts will cause rampant and widespread inflation. The precious metal’s on pace for its ninth straight positive year; the previous record was set at $1,033.90... More »

Supermarkets Slash Prices

Deflation stalks the aisles; Safeway cuts below profit point

(Newser) - Americans are getting a big break on the price of food, as the recession drives down the cost of wheat, milk, and other staples, and supermarkets fight feverishly for sales. After a year of dramatic increases, commodities are way down—the price of corn, for instance, is down 56% since... More »

Energy Falters; Dow Off 37

A profit warning from Chevron highlights problems in the energy sector

(Newser) - The major stock indices finished mixed today, with the Dow trending down after Chevron issued a profit warning, the Wall Street Journal reports. Chevron was down 2.7% on news that a weak dollar and poor profits at refineries will cut into its second-quarter earnings. Exxon also fell 1.3%.... More »

Dow Falls 161 in Broad Sell-Off

Investors unwind bets ahead of 2nd-quarter earnings kickoff

(Newser) - Investors turned pessimistic ahead of the start of the second-quarter earnings season, initiating a broad sell-off that depressed the major indices, the Wall Street Journal reports. Oil fell another $1.12 to 62.43 a barrel, pushing energy stocks lower; the S&P 500’s energy sector was off 2.... More »

Feds Consider Limits on Oil, Energy Speculation

Commodity Commission to hold hearings on 'purely financial' energy futures trading

(Newser) - Federal regulators may impose new limits on the amount of energy-futures contracts that speculators can buy, the New York Times reports, an attempt to curb severe price fluctuations in commodities like oil and natural gas. Oil prices swung from $145 per barrel last summer to $33 in December, movement some... More »

Stocks, Oil Jump Together

(Newser) - Stocks jumped at the open today, with the Dow up 61 points, the Nasdaq adding 0.5%, and the S&P gaining 0.7%, powered by strong moves in its energy and basic materials sectors. That was due in part to the surge in fuel prices, with oil clearing $71... More »

2008 Inflation Slowest in 50 Years on Oil Prices, Economy

Slow spending, sliding energy costs lead to 0.1% CPI increase last year

(Newser) - In 2008, consumer prices crept up at the slowest rate since 1954, climbing just 0.1% for the year and missing the Fed’s preference of 1.5% to 2% by a wide margin, the Wall Street Journal reports. Just months after inflation hit 17-year highs, a 75% drop in... More »

Volatile Markets a Growing Concern for Farmers

Volatile prices, uncertain demand push some farmers into the red

(Newser) - Volatile commodity prices and uncertainty about future demand are nurturing growing concern among American farmers as revenues sink—even as demand sprouts in emerging energy markets, the Wall Street Journal reports. Costs of doing business—namely seed, machinery, and fertilizer—are riding high alongside transportation costs, and commodity prices are... More »

Nervous Dow Rises 70

Commodities, financials move in opposite directions

(Newser) - Markets ended with modest gains today as commodities got a boost and financials dropped, the Wall Street Journal reports. Meanwhile, fears over the struggling auto bailout spurred some flip-flopping, Bloomberg notes. The Dow rose nearly 190 points before settling down to finish up 70 points. The S&P climbed 11... More »

Coffee Shortage Percolating

Brazil likely to produce fewer beans next year

(Newser) - A smaller coffee crop in Brazil could lead to a worldwide shortage in 2009-2010, Bloomberg reports. And the news is already affecting prices: Arabica beans, the kind used by Starbucks, jumped yesterday after a Brazilian official warned of a 22% drop in output. Other countries can't make up for "... More »

Oil Prices Plunge to 5-Year Low

OPEC expected to slash production to push up prices

(Newser) - Oil prices continue to plunge as demand slackens amid the global economic downturn. Oil has dropped 19% drop this week, the biggest weekly decline in five years, reports Bloomberg. Prices have tumbled 70% since reaching a record $147.27 in July, and  some predict prices may dip as low as... More »

Chinese Stimulus Lifts Dow

Index surges 150+ at open, following Asian lead

(Newser) - Stocks jumped out of the gate today, thanks to a $586 billion stimulus package from Beijing. The Dow was up nearly 200 just after opening, the Wall Street Journal reports, and the S&P and Nasdaq climbed 1.8% and 1.2%, respectively. The moves followed rallies overseas, including a... More »

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